Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location:Santa Rosa, Calif., Main Office
We could go on discussing ways our publishing world is being rocked, but the final point I want to make this week is that we’ve all been thinking horizontally when the world has shifted to a vertical perspective.
What do I mean by that?
Publishers in the past have sought to reach as many readers as possible with the news about a book. A scatter shot has worked well for them, as it hit a bull’s eye with a variety of readers. But today both publishers and authors need to think not about reaching as broad an audience as possible (horizontal thinking) but reaching an audience as deeply as possible (vertical thinking).
So if you write books (fiction or nonfiction) that center around a gardening theme, it makes sense to reach the gardeners of the world. How does one do that? On the Internet, mostly.
Gardening blogs and websites abound. By writing guest blogs, by appearing at primo gardening centers in your area, by signing your novel in the gardening section of bookstores, you’re going vertical, focusing on a specific audience, rather than setting up a table at a bookstore’s front door, hoping to snag readers.
Part of thinking vertically is also to collaborate rather than to compete. If you know a publishing gardening maven, have a booksigning in which the other author’s nonfiction book is signed right alongside your novel. Or have both of you talk about gardening tips.
The point is, your job is to connect with a vertical group of readers rather than hoping to snag a reader from a large school of readers, much like hoping to catch one fish out of an entire school of fish.
A focused perspective pays off nowadays. Rock our world!
All of us would enjoy hearing your response to:
–What trends do you spy that you want to reflect in your writing?
–How are you thinking vertically (even if you didn’t know that was what you were doing)?
–What are you doing to collaborate with writers who also are trying to reach the same audience?